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Do 18 Wheeler Accident Lawsuits Settle For More Than Regular Auto Accidents?

November 15th, 2016 Auto Accidents
18 wheeler accident lawsuit

An accident with an 18 wheeler frequently results in severe injuries that can significantly alter the quality of life of everyone involved. An 18 wheeler accident lawsuit is different from other vehicle accident lawsuits due to the severity of the impact with a 70-foot long truck weighing 80,000 pounds. There are also strict federal laws and regulations in place concerning a driver’s conduct and truck maintenance. An 18 wheeler accident attorney at Nolan Caddell Reynolds who is well-versed in the trucking business and its governing laws, and has experience in litigation and negotiation, can help you get the compensation you deserve.

How Are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?

In 2014, there were more than 3,400 deaths and over 82,000 injuries stemming from 18 wheeler accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The number of deaths and serious injuries is considerably higher with 18 wheeler truck accidents than it is with passenger vehicle crashes.

An 18 wheeler accident lawsuit typically results in larger settlements due to the higher levels of primary liability insurance required by the FMCSA for 18 wheelers. Commercial freight vehicles are required to carry $750,000 to $5,000,000 – depending on the commodities transported – in insurance coverage and in some cases there is more than one policy on the truck and the trailer, which can contribute to higher settlements.

What Commonly Causes Truck Accidents?

There are a range of driver errors and equipment malfunctions that can cause 18-wheeler accidents:

  • Driving Under the Influence: While most people do not think of commercial drivers drinking or taking drugs, there are 18 wheeler accidents every year that result from this reckless behavior.
  • Shifting Loads: If a load is not secured and balanced properly it can shift during transit, which can cause a driver to lose control or the truck to tip over.
  • Speeding:  Even with the threat of fines, increased insurance costs, and the potential for 18 wheeler accidents, some commercial drivers do speed, a choice that can have life-changing consequences for other drivers on the road.
  • Jackknifing:  This happens when the trailer skids forward from behind and faces backwards while the truck still faces forward. The 18 wheeler will cover most of the highway and can severely impact any vehicles in the immediate vicinity.
  • Driver Fatigue: There are strict guidelines for the hours a commercial truck drivers can be on the road, but that still does not stop some drivers from continuing on when they are tired and in need of sleep.
  • Tire Blowouts: Depending on the circumstances at the time of a blowout, a driver can lose control of their truck.
  • Brake Malfunctions: When trucks have to repeatedly stop quickly the brakes can overheat, reducing the effectiveness of the brakes and significantly extending the stopping distance. A driver must keep all work and repair orders so they can prove they are in compliance with road safety standards. In Oklahoma, an 18 wheeler accident attorney can subpoena documentation to determine if the truck’s equipment has been maintained and is in full compliance of federal regulations.

By working with an 18 wheeler accident attorney who has handled these types of cases before, you are more likely to receive a fair and adequate settlement with the appropriate compensation for your damages and injuries.

If you have been involved in an accident with a tractor trailer, contact the 18 wheeler accident lawyers at Nolan Caddell Reynolds at 866-242-0452 to start the investigation for your case and help you get a fair settlement.

Typically I don’t leave much feedback for services rendered, however, in this particular case I think everyone needs to know about my experience with Caddell Reynolds. I have used various attorneys throughout my adulthood for various reasons. Recently I retained an attorney, Joel Hargis, from this firm. If anybody is just satisfied with meeting expectations you need to consider this firm for exceeding expectations. This attorney and his staff far exceeded any expectations I had at the onset. Tammy was amazing in making me feel comfortable with the various entries and documentation needed. Mandy goes above and beyond in being responsive to questions and needs. An example which has never happened to me before with any law firm, was I sent an email late Saturday night requesting an appointment and information and on Sunday I got a response back. What law firm does that? Never in my experience has that ever happened to me. Joel is absolutely amazing. He doesn’t circumvent the law he explains the law that any novice can understand. He left no doubt in my mind of his knowledge, his experience, his attention to detail, and his overall diligence in making sure that I was going to be represented in a manner that my confidence level in my particular case went up 150%. I very much recommend this law firm and if the rest of their legal team is as good as the one I retained within this firm they will go far in servicing any client that needs representation. Amazing and astounding don’t really define or describe how I feel. One word comes to mind, indescribable!

John T